TNT’s King & Maxwell (Mondays, 10/9C) is created by Shane Brennan (NCIS: Los Angeles) and based on a series of bestselling novels by David Baldacci. With those bloodlines – and TNT’s declaration that ‘We know drama’ – you would figure that this should be something special. Well, I haven’t read the books, but the series feels very – no, make that too familiar.
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Darn that Kyra Sedgwick, she looks good even wearing yellow crime scene tape!
It seems like season five of The Closer had just begun airing on TNT, but it was actually over a year ago with the first episode Products of Discovery premiering on June 8th, 2009. Guess time flies when your LA’s top Deputy Chief of police, solving crimes and in your spare time learning to deal with a teenager!
Looking over the synopsis for The Closer: The Complete Fifth Season from the DVD release home page, tells us that at work, L.A. Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) is a woman in charge. But at home…well, that’s another story. As a cop, Brenda takes on everything from a corpse that comes COD to a serial killer to Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell), an internal affairs officer as tough as she is. As a civilian, Brenda loses one family member aka her beloved cat and gains another: her surly niece Charlie. Brenda can outsmart, outmaneuver and out a killer. But handling a teenager is another matter.
Los Angeles Deputy Brenda Johnson [Kyra Sedgwick] is facing a season of change as The Closer [TNT, Mondays, 9/8C] embarks on its fifth season. Now that she and Fritz [Jon Tenney] are married – and back at work – things haven’t quite smoothed themselves out. Not only is Brenda still adjusting to being married, her cat is sick [and we know how much she loves Kitty] and someone has just killed four of five members of a Hispanic family, execution style – a crime that is likely to cause serious repercussions in the community.
On May 26th, Warner Brothers released the complete 4th season of the hit TNT series The Closer onto DVD.
They’ll bring you in. She’ll make you talk.
The Golden Globe award winning series stars Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Police Chief Brenda Johnson who runs the Priority Homicide Division of the LAPD. Johnson has an unorthodox style, she couples with an innate ability to read people and obtain confessions all of which makes it possible for this Deputy Police Chief and her team to solve the city’s toughest, most sensitive cases.
Along with the usual hard hitting action and police drama, season 4 of The Closer had some vital changes going on in the storylines of the characters. The change that seemed to divide fans of the show the most was the marriage of Brenda and FBI Special Agent Fritz Howard (played by Jon Tenney), which left many loyal viewers wondering if The Closer had ‘jumped the shark’. Since only the progression of season 5 can answer that question, let’s take a look at what the DVD has to offer regarding season 4.
Season 4 found Deputy Police Chief Brenda Johnson and her team coming under the gun of an ambitious news reporter’s unflattering tell-all which marked the end of the PHD unit even amid the successful solving of some very brutal and dangerous cases. But Brenda is not one to be counted out and in the episode Time Bomb, she and her team, reunite as the newly created Major Crimes Division with expanded jurisdiction, find themselves uncovering a murder plot by a group of teens who see humans as a plague on the earth. When a member of the terrorist teen group dies of an overdose during interrogation the clock is ticking for the MCD to stop the carnage before it’s too late.
The series also stars J.K. Simmons (Juno), Corey Reynolds (The Guardian), Robert Gossett (Passions), G.W. Bailey (The Jeff Foxworthy Show), Tony Denison (Prison Break), Michael Paul Chan (Arrested Development), Raymond Cruz (Training Day), Gina Ravera (ER) and Phillip P. Keene (Home).
While Season 4 of the Closer has some uneven pacing in episodes, it has plenty of very intense storylines and intriguing regular and guest characters to offer the viewer. The DVD itself comes with some high quality special features.
Bonus Features on the DVD set include:
A “Day in the Life” of a Homicide Detective: – An engrossing featurette hosted by actor Corey Reynolds (Det. Sgt. David Gabriel) that spotlights Reynolds as he rides along with an LAPD detective.
Catching a Lie – A compelling featurette that teaches viewers how interrogators know a suspect is telling a lie. The FBI as well as other highly trained interrogators are taught unique and specific ways to catch a potential suspect in a lie. The technique and mannerisms are so precise that the results are almost identical to those of an actual lie detector test. Viewers visit with an actual member of the FBI as they discuss what to look for and how one can spot tell-tale signs.
The packaging of the 4 disc series is solid and the discs have an ease of access that helps to protect them and reduces wear and tear on them. Rosemary Markson, WHV Vice President, TV and Special Interest Marketing had this to say about The Complete 4th Season of The Closer:
“When a series earns major award nominations and wins for each season since its inception, you know you’ve got a rare and exceptional television program on your hands. That is consistently the case with The Closer. We feel privileged to be associated with this remarkable show. Kyra Sedgwick is dazzling in her role as Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson. Her outstanding performance combined with the show’s powerful story lines and brilliant production is what makes this a real stand-out police drama, and we are pleased to offer it to consumers.”
Check out this video clip of season 4 of The Closer.
The Closer: The Complete Fourth Season will be available in a four-disc DVD set from WHV on May 26, 2009, and will retail for $39.98 SRP
The winter premiere of The Closer [Mondays, TNT, 9/8C] is following a pretty hard act – it’s mid-season cliffhanger, and so we both learn the fate of Detective Sanchez [Raymond Cruz] and witness Deputy Chief Brenda Lee Johnson’s [Kyra Sedgwick] reaction to Fritz’s marriage ultimatum. Even better, there’s an apparent case of suicide that coroner Dr. Morales [Jonathan Del Arco] won’t sign off on – and he’s extorting Deputy Chief Johnson into taking the case [or he’ll take it to another division, making her team look like idiots!].
The deceased is a recovering drug addict and con man who seems to have gone straight – though that doesn’t jive with the recollection of his ex-wife which is, in turns at odds with the experience [or at least testimony] of his pastor [church in a slating rink!] and cancer-suffering girlfriend. Add in the after effects of the cliff-hanger’s two-pronged dilemma – and the presence of Brenda’s parents [Barry Corbin and Frances Sternhagen], who are visiting for a few days before setting out on a Hawaiian cruise – and you’ve got all the ingredients for a truly odd mix of confusion, misdirection and pathos. The episode, Good Faith, is also notable for actually having scenes that do not require the presence of DC Strong.
Upcoming episodes feature a body found in the trunk of a car, and a suspected rapist/murderer whose lawyer has a track record of successfully defending sex offenders.
As usual, The Closer is written well enough to give us a few moments pause over each ep’s mystery, but it remains most notable for giving us a strong lead character that continues to grow as a person – and as a high-ranking member of the Los Angeles Police Department. Though this is Sedgwick’s show, there are moments for several members of her team as well as J.K. Simmons’ Assistant Chief Pope [who gets some really good stuff in the premiere].
All in all, The Closer hasn’t yet lost a step. It remains one of the best [and most watched] programs on cable television.
Final Grade: B